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Rep. Waters To The President: Call The Violence In Iraq What It Is – A Civil War

July 30, 2009
Press Release

Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-35) urged the President to finally admit what is apparent to everyone who is following the daily events in Iraq – Iraq is in a civil war. 

"Every day, dozens of Iraqis are murdered," said Congresswoman Waters.  "The only conclusion one can reach about the overwhelming violence in Iraq is that the country is mired in a civil war.  The sooner the President recognizes this fact, the sooner we can adopt policies that will permit our troops to return home."

"The President's stubbornness on this war is appalling.  He is determined to keep his blinders on even while US troops die.  Since Saturday, 17 American troops have died, bringing the total number of US deaths in Iraq to 2,771.  October is on pace to be one of the deadliest months for US troops – 70 have been killed so far this month – since the war began.  The death toll for the Iraqis is far worse.  Since the start of October, 775 Iraqis have been killed."

"In August, when the violence in Iraq was at a lower level, 18 other Members of Congress joined me on a letter asking the President to clarify if there was a civil war in Iraq.  To date, I have not received a response from the President.  However, in press conferences, the President has indicated that he does not believe there is a civil war.  The President's claims appear to be based on emotion instead of fact.  He says, essentially, that there isn't a civil war because Iraqis voted in elections last year.  That is pure fantasy.  Voting in an election does not make a democracy or even a stable government.  The daily reports of carnage and death speak volumes to the reality in Iraq.  Death squads roam the streets of Baghdad and other Iraqi cities seeking revenge on historical hatred.  Our servicemembers must not be placed in the middle of this civil war.  The President's policy of ‘staying the course' has failed.  It is time for this Administration to develop a new policy for Iraq and work to bring our troops home as soon as possible," said Congresswoman Waters.

In September, Congresswoman Waters introduced H Res 984, a resolution expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that Iraq is in the midst of a civil war since the February 22, 2006, bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, Iraq, one of the holiest places for Shiite Muslims.  The resolution has seven cosponsors.